A 33-year-old man allegedly froze to death after being kept in a walk-in freezer for hours at the Walker County jail in Alabama, US.

Anthony Mitchell was arrested for attempted murder in early January this year. He died on January 26, merely two weeks after his arrest. He was arrested for firing a gun at a police officer during a welfare check requested by his family. He was suffering from a mental illness, per a report in The Mirror.

The police officers had received a phone call from one of his family members claiming that Mitchell had made statements suggesting that he might harm himself or others.

When the deputies arrived at the scene, he fired one shot and retreated into a wooded area near his home, the police said at the time. He was then taken into custody.

His family has now filed a lawsuit against the jail, the sheriff's office, and the jail's medical and corrections personnel.

The lawsuit includes CCTV footage from inside the jail premises, where an unconscious Mitchell could be seen being taken to a police vehicle.

The footage from the facility was secretly filmed by corrections officer Karen Kelly on a mobile phone. The officer has now been fired from her job. She has also filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against the Walker County Sheriff's Office.

The lawsuit filed by the victim's family adds that the officials placed Mitchell "in a restraint chair in the jail kitchen's walk-in freezer or similar frigid enforcement and left [him] there for hours." The suit further alleges that the jail officials failed to get him any medical help for five hours.

The physician who examined Mitchell wrote: "I am not sure what circumstances the patient was held in incarceration but it is difficult to understand a rectal temperature of 72° F 22° centigrade while someone is incarcerated in jail."

"The cause of his hypothermia is not clear. It is possible he had an underlying medical condition resulting in hypothermia. I do not know if he could have been exposed to a cold environment. I do believe that hypothermia was the ultimate cause of his death," he added. However, the Walker County Medical Examiner has not yet released his autopsy report.

According to a report in Fox News, the victim had "a history of drug addiction." He had been living alone since his father passed away in 2022. His mother is the one who had been paying his bills.

Crime Scene
Crime scene police line | Representational Image Photo: GETTY IMAGES / SCOTT OLSON GETTY IMAGES/SCOTT OLSON